Board Proposes Rules to Restrict Fees and Expiration Dates on Gift Cards
November 16, 2009
Circular No. 12158

The Federal Reserve Board has announced proposed rules that would restrict the fees and expiration dates that may apply to gift cards. The rules would protect consumers from certain unexpected costs and would require that gift card terms and conditions be clearly stated.

The proposed rules would prohibit dormancy, inactivity and service fees on gift cards unless:

  • There has been at least one year of inactivity on the certificate or card
  • No more than one such fee is charged per month
  • The consumer is given clear and conspicuous disclosures about the fees. Expiration dates for funds underlying gift cards must be at least five years after the date of issuance, or five years after the date when funds were last loaded.

The proposed rules are issued under Regulation E (Electronic Fund Transfers) to implement the gift card provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.

See press release for full details.

Press release offsite